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August 9, 2013

Six Scrimmage Stories



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Missouri will hold its first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday. It will offer not only the media's first chance to see the Tigers for a full workout, but also the first chance for players to separate themselves and impress the coaches in a game-like atmosphere.

PowerMizzou.com takes a look at six storylines to keep an eye on Saturday morning.

The Quarterback Play



Most observers of the program believe James Franklin has a fairly secure hold on the starting job here. While an announcement is unlikely to be made about that in the days following the scrimmage, Franklin certainly could cement his status as the starter for the August 31st opener against Murray State.

Maty Mauk is currently the backup and could also solidify his hold on that job in front of Corbin Berkstresser. Most expect Trent Hosick and Eddie Printz to redshirt this season, but it is still a chance for both to make an early impression.

Safety Situation


The leading candidate for a starting job here is probably Braylon Webb. He started every game last season and ought to be able to cement his status on Saturday.


At the other spot, Matt White is the leader right now, but White didn't practice on Thursday and his status for the scrimmage is unknown. Ian Simon and Cortland Browning could push for the job in a race that likely consists of four after Duron Singleton failed to make it to camp.



Five Up Front


Evan Boehm, Mitch Morse and Justin Britt are set to start at center and the two tackle spots. Connor McGovern came off a strong spring and has drawn rave reviews. He should start at one guard spot. The other starting spot seems to be a race between Mitch Hall and Max Copeland. Both will play, but only one can start.

In addition to sorting out the starting five, this position is the one everyone is watching. If it's healthy, is it a major improvement over last season? It has to be for Mizzou to make the strides it hopes to make.

Tight End Trio


Sean Culkin is the starter and has people dreaming about the days of Tiger tight ends of the recent past. Just how good is he?

Eric Waters is running second string. With his game and Culkin's differing, how much are they each used and in what situations? Will Missouri feature anything with both of them on the field at the same time?

The wild card, and maybe the most intriguing to watch on Saturday, is freshman Jason Reese. Is he ready to contribute as a true freshman and what will he bring to the field?

Weakside Backer Battle


Darvin Ruise is currently ahead of Kentrell Brothers, but the Oklahoma sophomore is making the competition interesting according to coaches and teammates. Again, Saturday's scrimmage isn't likely to settle this question, but it is the first chance we'll have to evaluate the battle between the two.

Kicking Questions


Andrew Baggett had good moments a year ago, but he missed quite a few kicks as well. Will he hang on to the job or could someone like walk-on Luke Jackson make a move this month? Kicking is the toughest position at which to simulate a real game, but the scrimmages could be very important for Baggett and his pursuers.



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